To Shafie.

The last time I wrote a letter to you was the first time I ever wrote a letter. I gave it to you with shaking hands and you returned it right back to me. The second time I wrote a letter, I left it inside the cover of a book I don’t think you’ll ever completely read. One could say that for a sister who writes, and a brother who reads, we’ve done a poor job out of the letters. So to set the record straight, I’m writing my third letter to you in the hope that this one doesn’t have more flaws than it holds the content. Excuse my vocabulary and my rather immature use of language- I know you’re a perfectionist and I’m only trying.

Dear Shafie,

You wrote to me once that in a world as uncertain as ours, only one thing’s for sure and that’s to have a sister who’d be there “beyond time, beyond space and beyond distance”. At the time it was only a beautifully woven quote to me, but now as time, space and distance pulls us apart, your words mean more to me than ever before. I hold on to those words one part because I know your words were true, and one part because I tell myself over and over again that they have to be true. We used to count the months till our father would return home, now we count the months till we get to see each other again. We grew up before we realized we were growing up.

But there’s no other way I’d have chosen to grow up like. Even though you used to beat me at chess and challenge me to table tennis tournaments with you, that one time I won tap-rugger against you because you didn’t want to grab the empty water bottle that made for a rugger ball is a memory I will hold on to proudly. Growing up with you, you were always two steps ahead- but I told myself that was only because you were half a decade older than me. Now that I’m older I know for a fact that empty plastic bottle was easy to grab but when you didn’t, you allowed me to be the champion for a change. And all those karate moves you taught me weren’t a big joke for you, but instead a means for you to tell me I too could punch you in the face and say I was only following the rules.

The 2007 Guinness book of world records holds more memories than records, because of all the planning we put in to try and figure out which bookstore, which shelf, which book in particular reflected our faces clearer than the rest. The sand hills we ran on hold more laughs than all the grains of sand on the mound, the diary entries I wrote as a seven year old consist of more times I hid my journal from you than the number of crossed out words or misspelled jargon. We got on to the stage, and I watched you be the voice to all those that were never heard, be the eyes for those who couldn’t see as far.. You were always someone they dared not to approach, because they knew you were made of stronger stuff than curse words or shallow poetry.

And even though our lives were shaped by great stories, wonderful books and so much to fight over and about, we always found comfort in the space we made for each other. Like the hand down books you gave me, like the times we extended our “homework time” to make our mother’s birthday cards, like the times we stayed awake thinking of plots to the stories we were yet to write, like the pictures we took by the anchors in our lives- our parents and the big metallic ones that hold the ships in place.

You were always full of knowledge and even though it’s a little annoying that you always know so much more about the world than I do, I’ve been the most comfortable knowing I could turn to you any time to ask you about anything and you’d have an answer. And I’ve watched you win at life, just like you won all those tournaments.

You’ve taught me by letting me watch you, and it must have been hard for you to deal with all the chaos in my life, and all the pranks that I had up my sleeves, but you put it all into place in a way I never knew anyone could. Being the annoying sister I’ve always been, you still put up with all of it. You’ve never given up on me and that’s why I haven’t given up on myself either.

Thank You, I don’t know what I’d be without you for a brother.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zeeshan
    Oct 20, 2016 @ 16:51:00

    This is so lovely! 🙂

    Reply

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